Published 3/23/2013 in ObituariesCustom obituary
Iris L. Keating was born May 3, 1931, in Garden City, Kansas, to Merle and Roberta Myers, and passed away March 13, 2013, at her home in Spokane Valley, Washington.
Graduating from Garden City High School in 1948, she went on to earn an Associate in Arts degree from Garden City Junior College in 1950 and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kansas State University (KSU) in 1952. While at KSU, Iris joined the Chi Omega sorority and met her husband, Eugene, whom she married in 1951. After college, they ranched in Seward County, Kansas, before moving to Texas, Arizona and then to Claremont, California, where they lived for 41 years while Eugene taught animal science at California Polytechnic University.
With seemingly endless energy, Iris lived her years fully and with an uncommon and irrepressible combination of intelligence, determination, dignity and humor — hers was a class act. She sampled nearly every artistic endeavor imaginable, training first in voice and piano, then moving on to explore painting, sculpture, calligraphy, silk screening, jewelry making, beading, ikebana and photography. She also was a talented seamstress and phenomenal cook, working at home during the early years of her marriage as a professional cake decorator.
A strong believer in Scouting, Iris served as troop leader and trained other leaders for many years as her daughter progressed from Brownies through Girl Scouts. Later, she devoted her considerable vitality to growing spectacular African violets. She was a Life Member of the African Violet Society of America, a Master Judge and served as the national Plant Registration Chairwoman for many years. She also served variously as president, vice-president, secretary, show chairwoman and newsletter editor for the Pomona Valley African Violet Society, and as president of the Judges Council of Southern California.
With her husband, she moved to Veradale, Washington in 2006 to be nearer to her children and grandkids.
Iris was preceded in death by her husband and parents, and by her brother, Carl Myers. She is survived by her daughter, Denise (John) Schnagl of Spokane Valley, Washington, and son, Kim (Rosemary) Keating of Bozeman, Montana; her grandchildren, Jason (Louise) Schnagl and Megan (Scott) Knowles of Spokane Valley, and Tyler (Sarah) Keating of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and her great-granddaughter, Felicity Schnagl.
Memorials may be made to the Friends of the Lee Richardson Zoo (folrz.com) or Shoes That Fit (shoesthatfit.org).
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